An intensely captivating performer, and an impressively accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Finnish-born, London-based artist Anzi is not short on star quality. As lead singer of the punked-up, hard-touring, hard-rockers Stereo Junks!, his elastic-limbed moves, and onstage antics including fire breathing, were the focal point of a wild and unpredictable live show, establishing his reputation as a born frontman. Since parting ways with Stereo Junks! in 2010 though, Anzi has demonstrated that he's more than just an incendiary performer.
His debut solo album, 2011's Anzi Destruction -'High Clash Motherfucker', was a self-produced affair, on which Anzi confidently combined influences from industrial, punk, metal and glam.
Since then, Anzi's spirit of adventure and ambition has only grown. He wrote and recorded 'Black Dog Bias' on three continents, at locations in Helsinki, London, New York and Egypt, producing the record himself and playing most of the instruments, before mastering was entrusted to Los Angeles-based Dave Collins (QOTSA, Soundgarden, Linkin Park, Alice Cooper). The finishing touches were added by an eclectic array of collaborators, including Sisters of Mercy guitarist Ben Christo, African Djembe player Ike Chime.
Built from a huge, booming rhythm section, and crowned by growling, low-tuned guitars, the single track 'I Let You Dive' references Nine Inch Nails and Killing Joke's stark-yet-organic industrial rock, while its lyrical themes are both personal to Anzi, and deeply universal. Meanwhile, the 2nd track on the single 'Revival' was written and partly recorded in Africa celebrates rebirth and new beginnings, by delivering a powerful wall of fuzzed guitars, and an anthemic, fist-pumping chorus. The single was accompanied by a pair of promo videos, which offer viewers a glimpse of the mesmerizing, manic energy Anzi brings to live shows, seeing him literally swinging from the rafters in an eerie old industrial building, and spitting fire on stage.
'Black Dog Bias', Anzi explains the title refers to "a known phenomenon in animal shelters, where big black dogs are typically overlooked by adopters. Nobody wants them because of the fear and stigma against certain breeds. Too often, big, dark-coated dogs end up being put down". The concept effectively sets up both the album's core themes (of prejudice, decisions based on fear, and what we may pass over by falling back on stereotypes), and its dark musical pedigree. Packing a sonic bite, yet also displaying some surprising softer moments, 'Black Dog Bias' draws on a mongrel mix of influences, and emerges sounding like a fresh new breed.